The first day began with an early start as we had a flight to London at 6:30, which meant meeting up at the airport at 4:30am! We were all very tired, but the excitement powered us through.
We arrived at Stansted and got the train to Victoria station where we collected our Oyster cards. Then we decided that since we were so close, we would go to Kings Cross station and see platform nine and three quarters. There we waited in a line (for a very long time) and got pictures underneath the platform sign! Some of us bought merchandise from the shop. Then we headed to Trafalgar Square for a Harry Potter walking tour!
Soon after, we went to Girl Guiding UK’s shop, but on the way we visited Buckingham Palace. There we saw the beautiful palace and the guards. Girl Guiding UK’s Shop looked lovely and there were lots of cool things to buy there. There were badges and pins, notebooks and mugs, and even the UK Girl Guiding uniform!
Everyone bought their items and off we headed again to Pax Lodge! When we arrived there, we were buzzing with excitement! It was so big and modern and the rooms were fabulous! We left our bags in our rooms and went for pizza in a restaurant nearby. We waited for the pizzas for a long while but when they were finally served, it was all worth it.
Afterwards, we went back to Pax Lodge and swapped our badges in the swap box. Then two very nice ladies hosted some fun activities for us. We did puzzles, we hunted for things all around the world centre and we learned how to make cool decorations for our neckers. Afterwards, we had tea in the fabulous kitchen and we went to bed happily.
The next morning we got up and we had a delicious breakfast in Pax Lodge. Next, we attended a ceremony where we were given some beautiful pins that you can only get if you actually visit Pax Lodge World Centre! We sang the World Song around the Pax Lodge flag and we made a promise to honour our new pin.
After that, we went back inside and bought some really cool things from the shop such as badges, mugs and t-shirts. Just when we were getting ready to leave, some leaders from another UK Girl Guide Unit gave us some of their badges and we gave them some of ours. They were visiting Pax Lodge as one of the Leaders was celebrating a 51st birthday! We left Pax Lodge with a smile on our faces because it had been an amazing experience that none of us will ever forget.
After having a great start to our Sunday morning, we headed off back to central London to continue our holiday. We started by going to Chinatown, and we had a look around. It was very interesting to see so many shops and restaurants from a different culture. After that, we visited Buckingham Palace and witnessed the changing of the guard. It was organised very well, and I loved being able to watch such a famous event. While waiting for M&M World to open, we headed off to Trafalgar square and found the smallest police station in London. We also witnessed two protests while in London and these really showed the true spirit of the Londoners and how they care about society. After spending a while exploring, we decided to go back to Leicester Square and shop in M&M World. It was such an enormous building and it was a lot of fun to look around. Despite being in the M&M shop, everyone was starving, so we went to a very nice small sandwich shop.
Once we were all fed, we went on a boat tour of the River Thames. It was beautiful and everybody loved seeing all of the great bridges, Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster, and many more famous landmarks. We also had a great tour guide who was very informative. Once the tour had finished, we set off towards the underground and travelled to the Science Museum. We used the underground many times during our trip, and we had gotten the hang of it.
The Science Museum was extremely interesting and it was great that there were so many interactive activities and many things aimed at our age group, including games and songs. After spending a few hours in the museum, everybody was hungry once again so we visited a lovely restaurant called ‘Pizza Express’ which is the equivalent to Ireland's ‘Milanos’. In Pizza Express we devoured our food while exchanging jokes and giggles.
After having an amazing day, it was time to return home. We took the tube as well as the train, and headed to the airport. The airport process went very smoothly since all of us had learned how to navigate security and board a plane. The flight went well and before we knew it, we were back in Ireland.
Our trip to London was such a fantastic experience that we will never forget, and it wouldn’t have been possible without our Leaders, so we would like to thank them very much, and we will all treasure our memories from this holiday.